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Air India pilots lose perks, threaten strike

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Last Updated: September 25, 2009, 20:23 IST

Air India pilots lose perks, threaten strike

Association claims cut in productivity-linked incentives illegal.

New Delhi: Around 400 pilots of national carrier Air India may go on strike to protest against the airline’s decision to cut productivity-linked incentives (PLI) of employees.

Captain V K Bhalla, chief of Air India Employees Association, said executive pilots of the airline had decided to start an “agitation” to protest against the cut in salary.

“This decision of executives (executive pilots) going on agitation is on,” Bhalla told CNN-IBN. “Our chairman has no turnaround policy. He has given an illegal order of 70 percent salary cut to all the senior executive pilots--50 per cent of this evident and 20 per cent is a hidden agenda.”

Bhalla alleged pilots were “not in a fit state of mind” after hearing about the airline’s decision to cut PLI. He claimed the airline had given an “illegal, Talibani order” and pilots were not informed before a decision was made.

Bhalla reckoned that around a thousand pilots might join the agitation.

Air India on Wednesday decided to cut PLI by 25 to 50 percent. IANS reports the cut, effective from the August salary, will be applicable to over 7,000 officers, including top management personnel in various management disciplines.

The cut will be 25 percent for those getting incentives of Rs.10,000 per month or less, and 50 percent for those receiving PLI or flying related allowances of Rs.200,000 or more per month.

The cut for those receiving incentives of Rs.10,001-25,000, Rs.25,001-50,000 and Rs.50,001-200,000 will be 35, 40 and 45 percent respectively.

Air India has approached the government for a financial bailout and announced a series of cost-cutting measures to tackle its losses.

The airline’s current debt is about Rs 16,500 crore with losses standing at Rs 7,200 crore in 2008-09.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed - Agencies)
first published:September 25, 2009, 20:23 IST
last updated:September 25, 2009, 20:23 IST